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Chaffy Dish
Latest Updated by 2003-12-10 16:36:56

It's wintertime, the season for chaffy dish. Still not sure which flavor to eat? Don't worry, we'll give you some suggestions right here. 

Chaffy dish is a popular home cooking dish in China. Like many other long-standing Chinese traditions, it has a long history. Archaeological finds have proved its existence as early as 5000 years ago. In the Qing Dynasty, chaffy dish became an indispensable delicacy in the winter menu of the royal court. At one banquet, about 1650 chaffy dish pots were served at the same time. This was said to be the largest of its kind in Chinese history.

There are four essentials to a chaffy dish: a boiler, soup, foodstuff and seasoning.

BOILER In the past, chaffy dishes were cooked in copper boilers over a charcoal fire. Even today, the old way still boasts many advocates in the belief that food tastes better when cooked by charcoal. The boiler can serve two different flavors from the same pot by inserting in a copper sheet in the middle, which is called the "mandarin ducks" chaffy dish. These days, from a timesaving perspective, the electrical pot is considered more convenient.

SOUP Red soup is the first choice, which is often cooked with red pepper, bean, lobster sauce, cooking wine, rock sugar, refined salt, yellow wine and other spices. This kind of chaffy dish is very hot, with the standard set by Sichuan style Chaffy dish. Next is white soup, usually boiled chicken, fatty duck, and pork bones and muscle with shallot, ginger and cooking wine. Both kinds are to be prepared for a couple of hours beforehand, the longer the better.

FOODSTUFF Almost anything edible will do! In general, it is grouped into seafood, poultry, livestock, vegetables and fruit.

SEASONING Whether a chaffy dish tastes savory or otherwise can be perhaps half put down to seasoning. Common seasoning styles are sesame paste oil, mashed garlic, pepper oil, hot sauce, and mashed leek flavor.

In addition to China, some other countries are also fond of chaffy dish. Here are several typical examples:

Japanese fire chaffy dish: onions fried with cooking oil until half cooked, decocted with beef flakes, shelled fresh shrimps, chicken, fish and pork slices. You can eat the meat as they cook, then put some soup and seasoning into the pot, and you can boil some vegetables like spinach and vermicelli made from bean starch etc.

Korean pickled cabbage with streaky pork chaffy dish: seafood soup heated over a charcoal fire, adding in some streaky pork, black pudding, clams etc.

Korean stone chaffy dish: super hot, pepper oil, pepper powder, filet and plump chicken

Indonesian curry chaffy dish: put fish heads, prawns, chicken, and beef into rice flour soup, then dip in local style curry, coconut powder and spice as the seasoning.

Swiss cheese chaffy dish: cheese is heated until it melts, then add some distilled spirits and ratafee, and dip French bread into the liquid cheese.

Editor: Catherine

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